Arguably one of the greatest American philosophers of the 20th Century, Yogi Berra, is credited with saying: “when you come to a for in the road take it!” Well, we are doing just that. To date we have been concerned with forces leading to increasingly more progressive politics, albeit in fits and starts, during the period 1990-2040, but especially beginning in 2008 with the election of Barack Obama. Our pieces have stressed that with Affordable Health Care, initiatives on the environment, the Depression-dodging stimulus package, and many incremental steps the country has moved slowly back toward the center. But in the short term, we are not so sure. And as Paul Krugman and Thomas Friedman have pointed out in domestic and foreign policy, the “slouching toward progressive rationality,” and difficulties of the Obama administration are not primarily of Obama’s making.
So here is the fork this blog is taking: 1. We want to become more involved in discussing foreign policy questions, really as much a part of a progressive agenda as domestic policy; we will have pieces on current and future dilemmas by Shiels and Lerman, 2. We want to open up a debate about how progressives should proceed in the next five years. It is clear that there is unprecedented polarization and deadlock, likely to continue until 2016. So We, The Blog, have the same choices that progressive “real world” strategists do: 1. shall we turn to a more wrathful, (read honest), fusillade against the reactionary, obstructionist forces of the Boehner/McConnell Congress and its Tea Party “Observers.”? or
2. should we stick with the thesis that incremental, dogged, centrist change– the style seemingly favored by Obama and the Clintons, will inch us forward, while the country tires of the unrelenting negativity of the Republican Congress. Republican, perhaps, only until 2016. The senate of course is technically Democratic and with luck may remain so. But with the lavish use of the filibuster, it is effectively neutralized even if it is lucky enough to hold on through the next election cycle. A mantra increasingly gaining traction among commentators is: 2014 will be a bad year for the Democrats, 2016 will be a Horrible year for the Republicans. More on this to come!